Like to laugh? Like to be informed? Then sign up for TheDC Morning email here.
1.) Au Revoir, Mr. Bolivar – Hugo Chavez died Tuesday of cancer. His friends on the left remembered him fondly, TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein writes:
“Hugo Chavez was an aspiring dictator who clamped down on civil liberties in Venezuela, spouted anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, and grossly mismanaged his country — but such a record didn’t stop some liberals in America and abroad from mourning the demagogue’s death from cancer Tuesday. … The Nation magazine’s Greg Grandin perhaps outdid all of the of the Chavez eulogies with his fawning obituary. Speaking of the media’s reaction to Chavez’s clownish 2006 speech at the United Nations in which the Venezuelan leader called President George W. Bush ‘the devil,’ Grandin wrote that what really bothered American elites was that Chavez was claiming a right American opinion makers and leaders reserved for themselves. ‘I think what really rankled was that Chávez was claiming a privilege that had long belonged to the US, that is, the right to paint its adversaries not as rational actors but as existential evil,’ he wrote. … Sure, ‘Chávez was a strongman,’ Grandin admitted. ‘He packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances.’ But the ‘biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule,’ he continued, ‘was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough.’”
If you can judge a man by the company he keeps, Hugo Chavez can be judged harshly. From his adoration of Cuba’s Fidel Castro to his chumminess with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez’s friends were the world’s worst oppressors.
2.) LOL, Mr. President – The White House announced Tuesday that it is canceling tours due to the sequester. The GOP thinks the announcement is ridiculous, TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“GOP leaders and staffers are ridiculing the White House’s decision to shut down the high-profile tours of the White House, even as the administration continues pre-sequester spending on other projects, such as presidential golf outings and new uniforms for airport security agents. ‘Canceling white house tours is childish and dishonest [Obama’s] golf weekend in florida cost enough to keep the white house open for months,’ said a tweet from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. ‘Obama should be challenged … this is silly and demeaning.’ ‘White House cancels tours post sequester,’ said a tweet from Brad Dayspring, a Senate spokesman. ‘Now I guess the only way to get inside Obama WH is to give $500,000 to OFA,’ he said, evoking the current scandal over donations to President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action lobby group.”
3.) Drones over Des Moines? – If you thought drone attacks were just for Pakistan, the Justice Department says they could be for the U.S. as well, even if such a scenario is highly unlikely. The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Jim Antle reports:
“In response to an inquiry from Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that the federal government has ‘no intention’ of launching drone strikes in the United States but conceded an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ could make it permissible. Holder emphasized that he was talking about an unlikely theoretical event, but Paul was dissatisfied with his answer. ‘The U.S. Attorney General’s refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening — it is an affront the Constitutional due process rights of all Americans,’ the senator said in a statement.”
If you haven’t already, now might be a good time to familiarize yourself with Peter Tucci’s guide to avoiding drone strikes.
4.) CPAC’s troubles – The lead up to the Conservative Political Action Conference has been filled with controversy. TheDC’s Vince Coglianese reports on the spat between GOProud and CPAC:
“CPAC has a GOProud problem. The small, but outspoken, gay conservative group just won’t go away, despite the best efforts of some of the conservative leaders behind the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The American Conservative Union (ACU), whose board grants access to the annual summit, began barring GOProud as a co-sponsor in 2012 — after welcoming the organization in 2010 and 2011. But why was GOProud barred from CPAC sponsorship in the first place? That depends on who you ask.”
Read the rest for the inside scoop.
6.) Today in North Korean News –”Koreans Will Surely Force Japan to Pay for Its Past Crimes”